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What is it and how do we get it:

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection. It’s spread by coughs and sneezes, or by contact with someone with diphtheria or items belonging to them, such as bedding or clothing. The infection is usually caught after being in close or prolonged contact with someone who has the condition or is carrying the infection. The symptoms of diphtheria usually begin two to seven days after you become infected.

Symptoms of Diphtheria:

If you have diphtheria, a grey-white coating can develop inside your throat. It covers the back of your throat and tonsils, and can obstruct your breathing. Symptoms of diphtheria also include: a high temperature or chills, fatigue, sore throat hoarse voice cough, headache , difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing, difficulty breathing, foul-smelling, bloodstained nasal discharge, swollen glands in the neck, pale, blue skin.

Diphtheria can lead to potentially life-threatening complications including, respiratory failure, paralyses of diaphragm, Myocarditis, Nervous system complications. These can occur weeks after you first experience diphtheria symptoms

Childhood/ Routine Immunization program in the United Kingdom:

It is given in Five doses – the first when the child is 8 weeks (part of 6 in 1 injection), 12 weeks (part of 6 in 1 injection), 16 weeks (part of 6 in 1 injection), 3-8 years (part of 4 in 1 injection) and at 14 years (part of 3 in 1 injection). Diphtheria vaccine is usually given in combination of other vaccines such as Tetanus (bacteria) and Polio (Virus).

Travellers going to destinations with Diphtheria outbreaks:

Travellers who had 5 full doses before and you received the last dose less than 10 years ago You are good to go
Travellers who had 5 full doses before and you received the last dose more than 10 years ago You are good to go but depending on destination you might want to have a booster
Travellers who had less than 5 doses before Should have an extra dose before departure
Travellers not sure if they had any doses before They should be given 1 dose before departure

Inclusion and Exclusion list:

For patients above age of 6. There are inclusion and exclusion list that will be discussed with you during your appointment. You will be asked to fill in an assessment form with all your vaccination history details as well as any medical condition. Also we will go through any allergic reactions you might have. You can download the form here or you can fill it in during your appointment.

Name of the Vaccines subject to availabilities:

Name of the Vaccine Type of Vaccine Schedule (see notes above) Price per schedule including consultation
Revaxis Mixture of Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV) 1 dose £32

Side effects:

The most common side effects are local reactions (pain, erythema, induration and oedema) within 48 hours after vaccination, and persisting for 1-2 days. Very common (more than 1 in 10 persons) As above also pain, redness, hardening of the skin, swelling of the nodule, Dizziness (vertigo), feeling sick and being sick, headache.

Please visit http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx, after putting your destinations, this website will advise you which vaccines are needed. This website is regularly updated and is authorised by NHS.

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